NFL Announces 0.08% COVID-19 Positive Test Rate During 2020 Season

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 3, 2021

Detail view of NFL shield logo on a goal post pad before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)
Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

With one game to go, there are near-final results for a new NFL statistic this season.

The league's chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, released final numbers for the league's COVID-19 test rates, dating back to Aug. 1, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

The league had a 0.08 percent positivity rate during the season, with 262 cases detected among players and 463 in staff members. 

The Super Bowl had its first brush with the coronavirus Monday, when Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and backup center Daniel Kilgore were moved to the league's reserve/COVID-19 list. According to ESPN, the pair could still play Sunday if they have five consecutive days of negative tests. 

The effects of the pandemic on the NFL season were felt before the season kicked off, as pro days were called off, offseason programs were held virtually and Commissioner Roger Goodell hosted the NFL draft virtually from his home in New York. 

There were several postponements during the regular season, headlined by the Dec. 1 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, which was moved three times before it was finally played after Thanksgiving after an outbreak within the Ravens organization.

Earlier in the season, the Tennessee Titans were limited by an outbreak that led to $350,000 in fines. The New England Patriots were charged the same amount for their own issues that resulted in a postponement in Week 4, while the New Orleans Saints were hit with a $500,000 fine and the loss of a seventh-round draft pick for multiple "maskless" incidents (h/t Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com). 

The Saints were fined along with the Las Vegas Raiders, while both teams' head coaches were fined for "failure to follow proper face-covering protocol." 

The Cleveland Browns were without head coach Kevin Stefanski, as well as other staff and players, for their first playoff appearance in 18 years because of COVID-19.